Today Nick R., one of CFI’s oldest members, graduates from the Henderson Fire Academy. This has been a long journey for him that I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed from the very beginning. I remember the day Nick told me he applied for this job and I couldn’t help but feel both proud and sad at the fact that we wouldn’t have him in the gym regularly anymore.
You see, Nick has been an inspiration since he started CrossFit. I was fortunate enough to take him through his Foundations class in July of ’09. He was a beast that could and would embrace the suck of a hellacious metcon. Soon after he hurt his hip pretty badly while surfing, he still had to be physically restrained from overtraining while injured. Let’s put it this way, he showed up at a park WOD 2 days after having major hip surgery! (He also is responsible for helping move those mats we have into the gym, which was no small feat) However, once he knew he was going into the academy, his training matured exponentially. He no longer ignored his injuries and began to rein in and focus on training and rehab. He surprised his own doctors by his recovery rate.
I’ll let Nick tell you about his experience in his own words:
Both physically and mentally, there is no way that I would have been able to complete this academy if it wasn’t for CrossFit Intrepid and everybody involved with the gym. The primary reason for my success was that I prepared to succeed through working out at the box. The commitment there from all levels is amazing. From the members just showing up every day knowing they are about to get their ass kicked by brutal workout, through the trainers who program effectively and methodically to make sure that we all progress rather than stay stagnant or regress. Especially with my recovery from surgery, that kind of planning ahead was huge and definitely sped up my recovery, and hence my ability to prepare for the academy, so for that, Ruth, Sean, and Marcus, thank you for being so commited.
A lot of my non crossfit friends ask me why I wanted to be a firefighter-paramedic rather than just a paramedic or maybe have gone to medical school, and I try to explain it to them but they don’t really understand. You guys will though, and here is why: To me, other than the military application, firefighting is the other most common job where there is a direct and constant CrossFit type fitness performance requirement. On fires we work in 10 minute rotational, high intensity, high heat (academy topped out between 500 and 600 degrees, highest oral temp reading on me was 104), heavy weight work cycles, where you never know when you are going to need to lift a car, break through the walls of a house to escape, or lift a 250 pound unconscious dead-weight patient off the floor and out of the house, all while wearing 70 to 100 pounds of gear yourself working at maximum heart rate, and with no warmup (that’s the only pain in the but, the next fire i go to I’m totally bustin out 10 burpees before going in! pretty sure that would win the guerilla burpee competitions hands down!).
All joking aside though, by bringing two things I am passionate about together, the medical aspect of my job and the phsyical, crossfit style work with the firefighting application, I couldn’t be happier. I just need you guys to know I could not have done it without you. So for all of you that pushed me hard every day at the gym (which would be everybody), all while making it fun, I can’t thank you enough. The only downside was that I had to be away from all of you for the last seven months because my days off had to be recovery time for me, but I’m planning on being around a lot more often again, and hopefully I can meet all the new people I don’t know very well and hopefully become a more involved member of the family again.
We miss you dearly Nick. Your dedication, passion, and kind heart have paid off and a huge congratulations to you! We’ll have a belated graduation party when you come back to town!
Bench Press 3×5
15 Pull Ups
15 Deadlifts (Diane weight or 60% of last work set)